Featured Image Credit: National Hurricane Center
South Carolina just issued a state of emergency for Hurricane Irma. A state of emergency means that the government suspends normal constitutional procedures to regain control. These are normally issued during potential natural disasters. Irma has already destroyed buildings and flooded a few Caribbean islands. The storm is set out to hit Puerto Rico first and then Florida after that.
The National Hurricane Center forecasts Irma to turn north on Saturday, expecting to reach South Carolina late Sunday. No evacuation orders have been ordered due to the unexpected track of the storm. While previous hurricane, Matthew, didn’t do as much damage as expected to the Charleston area, hurricane warnings are always to be taken seriously.
Fill up your gas tank
There will be heavy traffic on expressways during evacuations. Also, everyone will be trying to get gas at the same time. We advise you to get gas before the gas stations run out and so you don’t have to stop on your way out.
Leave as early as possible
People like to hold out the storm, however, getting a head start can be vital in these situations. By heading out early, you can get ahead of the traffic and beat the storm.
Know where you are going
Whether you are going to family or friends, figure it out ahead of time. If you are planning on staying in a hotel, make your reservation asap. Many hotels around the southeast are booking up due to Florida evacuating now.
Pack clothes, cash, food, important documents, and first-aid kits
Make sure you are prepared to leave for a few days. It is always important to have cash in case your credit card declines for being in a different city. Secure important documents so you don’t lose them in the storm. Lastly, carry a first-aid kit with you in case of small emergencies!
Prepare to lose power & water
Hurricane winds are known for knocking over powerlines and leaving people without electricity and water. Be sure you are prepared for this! Have food on hand you can cook without electric, stock up on paper plates and plastic silverware. Also, be sure you have batteries, flashlights, and candles!
Prepare your house: trim your trees, secure all gutters, board up windows
Trim your trees so that limbs and branches are less likely to fall and cause damage. Be sure that all gutters are in the correct place to clear water away from your house. Board up windows so winds have a lesser chance of breaking windows.
Make sure you have water and food
It is important to have bottled water at your service in case the water goes out. This will help you stay hydrated, bathe, and brush your teeth!
Get a full tank of gas
Again, even if you are staying make sure your car has a full tank. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes, people decide to leave last minute and it is helpful to have gas before you desperately need it.
Have pet care items
Make sure if you have pets, they are well taken care of. Stock up on food and water for them as well as treatment pills they might require.
Secure important documents
Hurricanes can destroy homes and it would be dreadful to lose one of those important documents you need. Make sure they are high up in your house and in a safe place where they won’t get wet.
These are just some tips to help you during this hurricane. Use your best judgment and most importantly, stay safe Charleston.